Rep. Devin Nunes Sues MSNBC, Alleges Defamation by Rachel Maddow

Libby | August 4, 2021
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Rep. Devin Nunes (R- Calif.) is zoning in on MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in a defamation suit against the network’s parent company, NBCUniversal.

Filed in the U.S District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, the lawsuit asserts Maddow defamed the congressman specifically in her March comments regarding Nunes’ dealings with a  U.S. sanctioned individual.

Maddow suggested that Nunes did not cooperate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), though the suit argues the representative told other reporters he did hand over a package to the agency that he had received from the individual and MSNBC neglected asking Nunes for comment.

The lawsuit, according to The Hill, quotes Maddow’s comments in question:

Congressman Nunes has refused to answer questions about what he received from Andriy Derkach. He has refused to show the contents of the package to other members of the intelligence community. He has refused to hand it over to the FBI which is what you should do if you get something from somebody who is sanctioned by the U.S. as a Russian agent.

The defamation suit asserts specifically that he was singled out by the MSNBC host due to his “emergence as the most prominent skeptic in Congress of Maddow’s marquee news narrative from 2017 to 2019: that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to hack the 2016 presidential elections.”

Not only is Maddow under fire in this suit, the network itself is accused of harboring “an institutional hostility, hatred, extreme bias, spite and ill-will” towards the California congressman.

Though the fate of this lawsuit will play out in a court of law, Nunes has had little luck in the past with defamation suits.

Earlier this year, a federal judge dismissed his libel case against CNN, Politico reported.

Another federal judge threw out Nunes’ suit against The Washington Post in December, saying the publication did not act with malice, a necessary component to a successful defamation case.